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Providing leadership programmes can help prepare employees for the next level of management. This not only benefits the individual’s own ambition but it can also give businesses a huge competitive advantage as they utilise their staff’s creativity and imagination.

Last July, Speller Metcalfe created the Innovation & Excellence Board to help develop its next generation of leaders.

Taken from the Company strapline ‘Innovation and Excellence in Construction’, the board members were drawn from all facets of the company including site and off-site to work alongside the Directors, helping to consider and review all aspects of the existing business philosophy.

As the board members reach the end of their 12 month term, we reflect on the advantages of implementing such leadership programmes in to a company.


Why is it important to invest in your employees’ professional development?

Helping employees shape their future career is an important aspect of management and is vital for a business’ sustainability.

If companies fail to do so they could not only lose their top employees but also lose their position as industry leaders.

For this reason, businesses should be thinking long term – nurturing future leaders and encouraging a fresh thinking approach to business development.


How can you help develop your employees’ career?

In order to maintain our position as market leaders we created the Innovation & Excellence board to develop our employee’s leadership skills, as well as drive new ideas and practice forward.

Initiatives, such as the I&E board, offer new possibilities for career progression as well as personal rewards and recognition for the value that is contributed. It also meets employees’ demands for opportunities to learn new leadership skills.

Dan Gamson, Environmental Manager and member of the I&E board, commented on why he applied to be a member: “I personally applied to gain a greater understanding of the Company.

“I was part of something similar in the previous company I worked for and found that it allowed me to see how other departments operated and how they all fit together on a daily basis.”


Why employee development makes good business sense

By integrating younger employees in to the decision making process, it allowed for the board to make a number of changes which has resulted in a more streamlined approach to the Company’s current procedures and processes. The I&E board has successfully:

  • Modified the current filing structure to help improve central filing to be more coherent and as a result increase productivity;
  • Strengthened the Company’s relationship with the supply chain through supply chain breakfasts;
  • Arranged site visits for office based staff in order to improve communication;
  • Helped facilitate an overhaul of the current Company inductions to help new employees have a greater understanding of their role and the Company’s position within the industry.

Being a member of the I&E board allows for employees to improve upon their own individual performance. For Sara Barnes, this has made a difference to her results as a bid writer: “My role often involves working with, and communicating with wider Speller Metcalfe teams and being a member of the I&E board has helped develop these relationships further.

“This has had a positive impact on the quality of my responses during the tender process which affects our success rate.”

Of course there are lessons to be learnt from the experience: “If I was to offer some words of wisdom to the next generation of I&E members,” says Dan Gamson. “I would tell them to be imaginative but also realistic. There may be things that aren’t feasible or necessarily easy to implement within the 12 months you are a member of the board but any ideas you share with the Board of Directors will at least be reassessed in the future.”

Speller Metcalfe will be starting the recruitment process, for the next generation of Innovation & Excellence board members, in July 2015. 

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